What better way to know about the culinary career path than hearing about it from our graduates?
Let’s start off with Edison Manuel, who was an intern at Mar’sel in Los Angeles, California.
“To anyone who wants to be a cook or chef, you may have gone to a cooking school, learned things, maybe even thought of prestige… Well, don’t expect too much after you finish it. You’ll be at the bottom; who knows what you’re gonna be peeling next… But dream big, be devoted, be passionate, desire to cook everyday, read your Michelin star books. There are no shortcuts for us: we all have to go through that same sleep depriving, exhausting, body breaking journey. But we embrace our craft because once you know you are for it, you know you’ll be an advocate of food for the rest of your exciting, captivating, and fulfilling life.
A good chef will always see great chefs coming.”
~ Edison Manuel, First Gourmet Academy Batch 19
Next is Nanan Luzon, who was handpicked by celebrity chef Scott Boswell in 2013 during screening for the J1 Visa: Cultural Exchange Program for culinary arts students.
“Seeing my family happy after a wonderful meal I had prepared for them brings me joy. After I finished my culinary studies at First Gourmet Academy, not only was I equipped with the basics in cooking, but I also had that confidence to recreate dishes that world-class chefs had put their minds and hearts to in their restaurants.
Yes, I had worked with some of the greatest chefs in our time, and working with them in their kitchens really pushed me to become better. Some people think that being a chef is easy, like in a fancy cooking show that you watch on TV, but in reality, it’s not. I had experiences working in an extremely busy hot kitchen and in an extremely very cold kitchen. Not only you’d be all sweaty or be frozen to the bones in the kitchen but you’d also be standing 12 to 14 hours a day. But above all these kitchen realities, the kitchen has been my stage and cooking has been my outlet of creativity.
Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why am I cooking? Well, I don’t cook just for the sake of cooking, I cook because i want to be a part of a celebration, like a reunion, a proposal, or a wedding… with all those families and groups of friends simply being happy and eating at that restaurant dining table.”
~ Nanan Luzon, First Gourmet Academy Batch 21
And last but not the least, here’s Sai Infante. After his on-the-job training in the US, he has found his culinary passion in Molecular Gastronomy.
“You’ll never get instructors at this caliber at any other school right now in the Philippines. First Gourmet Academy instructors have a combination of experiences of more than a hundred years. I’m very thankful I studied culinary arts here.”
~ Simon Deiro Infante, First Gourmet Academy Batch 20